By: Tengetile Zanele Mphila-Nguru
As I go around seeing the shame and serious disgrace, we humans are doing to our natural environment, I feel saddened by what I foresee through the lenses of scientists on what our world will look like in the next 100 years or even less.
The pain of seeing the bad human behaviour breaks anyone’s heart as long as they understand what it is causing to our environment and the price we are already paying as a result of our ignorance and attitude towards nature. Driving around and seeing people disposing chemicals and sewage directly into rivers and some opening the window of a moving vehicle to throw a bottle of soda without even thinking where that bottle would end up makes me wonder if indeed humans would have a planet to live in the next hundred years.
The amount of chemicals, sewage, plastic waste covering our rivers has made it look like rivers are dumping and recycling sites. The “funny” thing is that the same human beings polluting the freshwater sources are the same ones complaining about the decreased number of fish in the rivers and the increase in chronic diseases that continue to kill our friends and relatives. My question is “are people not aware of these things they are doing and their cost to the environment and ecosystem, or do they take it lightly just because they are still surviving today?” Are we really going to waste our natural resources until there is only no fish remaining, no river flowing, no tree growing and no water to drink?
The good work our experts have done and continue to do on the sensitization about climate change, it’s effects and mitigation goes without question, however, the continued bad human behaviour makes one seek more answers and reasons behind this. This behaviour has no exception as both educated and uneducated citizens of this world are guilty of the damage to nature, whether big or small. All countries, first or third world need to play a role and they all have to do it instantaneously!
Failure to do so, we will drive ourselves back to the era of survival of the fittest. This will be a time of social unrest caused by the fight over natural resources such as water and to its extreme food. The damages done to the environment are already affecting each and every one of us. The high rising temperatures and decreasing amounts of rainfall are some of the signs that there will soon be a fight for food, water and other resources. Only those that will be able to afford or fight will survive, however, their survival will be short-lived as long as they do not change their behaviour.
It is never too late to change bad behaviour and the bad culture of littering, pollution, deforestation etc., that we have passed from generation to generation. Change begins with an individual committing themselves to do the right thing and doing it instantly. So much money has been invested in combating climate change, but as long as we have individuals who are not ready to do things the right way it is unfortunate that governments, organizations and different investors will continue to pump in money into these projects but not achieve the desired results.